past Tour

National Herbarium of NSW

Location marker iconAustralian Botanic GardensTime icon2023

The National Herbarium of New South Wales houses a collection of more than a million plant specimens, making it one of the most significant botanical resources in the Southern Hemisphere. Construction of the new state-of-the-art herbarium facility at Mount Annan was critical to protecting the growing collection for future generations and pioneering in botanical science and research on a local and international scale. 

Designed by Architectus with AIA Gold medallist architect Richard Leplastrier and landscape architect Craig Burton, the herbarium’s functional and sustainable design is inspired by the emblem of New South Wales: the waratah seed pod. Six protective vaults with precisely controlled environmental conditions are supported by the building’s elegant, long span ‘fly-roof’ which shields the precious collection from insects, mould, bushfires and other extreme weather conditions due to climate change.

This tour led by Eric Lee, associate principal at Architectus, and Dr Brett Summerell, chief scientist and director of Science, Education and Conservation at the Botanic Garden Sydney, guides visitors though the largest plant science facility in the Southern Hemisphere.


Eric Lee is an associate principal at Architectus. Across his 30-year career, Lee has specialised in design-focused projects in the commercial, residential, health, education, public and defence sectors. Since joining Architectus in 2018, he has led significant projects including the National Herbarium of New South Wales in Mount Annan from concept design to completion.

Professor Brett Summerell is the Chief Scientist and Director, Science, Education and Conservation at the Botanic Gardens of Sydney. He is an Adjunct Professor at Kansas State University, USA and at the University of Sydney and a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has a PhD from the University of Sydney. He maintains a research interest in plant diseases and microfungi and has published over 150 refereed papers and books in this area. He is an international authority on Fusarium diseases and has co-convened 22 international training workshops on Fusarium training for over 700 scientists from 79 countries. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society and the American Phytopathological Society, a member of the International Advisory Council for Botanic Gardens Conservation International and held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences at Kansas State University in 2018.



On Dharawal land

The National Herbarium of New South Wales
362 Narellan Road
Mount Annan NSW 2567


$15 General
$12 Concession

17 September 2023
12–1pm, 2–3pm

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Australian Botanic Gardens
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